Hurricanes are not funny. Sandy was definitely not funny. My heart and prayers go out for those who have lost loved ones, had their homes destroyed or had their lives disrupted. But humor helps us to survive these things intact. I hope that I can at least provide a chuckle or two. By the way, I really did just come out of a 5-day blackout because of a downed tree hitting a power line on the next block.
Thank you ever so much for your gift of a smaller electric bill this month. You chose to bestow this on a chunk of my Bronx neighborhood by knocking down one of our trees and making sure it hit a power line. That tree was quietly living there for many decades, minding its own business and not bothering anybody, but you decided it was in your way and WHAM! No more tree. We’ll miss it, of course. It was a nice tree. The birds and squirrels that lived in it thought so, too. I guess they’ll be out looking for new homes now. But we all have to go sometime, both people and trees. We would just rather meet our Maker quietly after a nice, long life. Nobody wants to die because something like you came around.
It is now Saturday and we have been without electricity, thanks to your impatience to get past that tree, since Tuesday morning.
You must have had a lot of fun trying to blow down everything in your path, but it was very irresponsible of you. You kill people that way. You have about 111 notches on your belt, and that’s just a preliminary count. The people whose homes are now uninhabitable are not happy, either. You made a huge mess and then just took off and left us to clean up after you.
By the way, in lieu of flowers as a memorial for all the lost lives, we ask that you make a contribution to the Red Cross, mostly to aid the people to whom you decided to give the gift of sea water. You see, you gave them way too much of it. Any bit of cash you can come up with will help. Please don’t pull a Mitt Romney and give some piddling amount of semi-useless stuff and then tell everyone about it like you’re some kind of hero. The Red Cross needs cash to dig people out of the unwanted gifts you sent them.
Getting back to my neighborhood, we know that not having power for several days equals less use of electricity which, in turn, equals a lower bill. The problem with that is we would really rather have our lights, not to mention refrigerators, computers, televisions and other things that make life nicer for us. As much as we don’t enjoy paying for all that, we would rather pony up the dough than do without. Flashlights just don’t cut it. They won’t keep food fresh, hook us up to the Internet or give us the ID Channel, the Weather Channel, PBS and other good stuff. An iPhone only goes so far, especially if you don’t have WiFi at home, and you need electricity to recharge the battery every day or so.
Please do us all a favor. If any of your relatives decide to pay us a visit in the future, tell them to try not to drown us in sea water or knock over our electric power lines. While they’re at it, they should leave the trees alone. They are innocent bystanders in all this.
Better still, tell them to stay away. We never invited any of you, and two of you in two years is already two of you too much.
A New Yorker